Why Emotional Intelligence is One of The Top Skills For an Entrepreneur

Feb28

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Emotional Intelligence

“Emotional intelligence is the stuff that will allow a listener to follow someone down an unknown rabbit hole.” – Benjamin Von Seeger, The Rival

The latest studies on EI have shown that entrepreneurs are putting a high premium on emotional intelligence and in more cases than ever when they are required to choose candidates with emotional intelligence rather than IQ.

We tend to think of book and street smarts as opposite sides of a spectrum – if you have one, you do not have the other. However, what ultimately pulls these two opposites together is emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the glue; it is the stuff that I’ve been preaching about from the first page of my book (The Rival ). Emotional intelligence will help you take those facts that you have learned in school and use them to your ultimate advantage. Relying on a mix of book and street smarts will allow you to build and foster important relationships, create your own network, and tackle those sweet, sweet deals you’ve been dreaming of while on the road to success.

We’ve all made early career mistakes on the sales floor – some of us more than others – but I have learned to painstakingly grow from my mistakes and capitalize on my gains. A hard lesson to be learned!

As a leader, I’ve had to look at policies and procedures in the eye and decide when it is the best time to go by the book and when to follow  my gut feeling. Most importantly, I have always held on to a commonsense rule: when making deals, nothing is more crucial than emotional intelligence. But you can’t always teach this stuff. This can be obtained by following a path of critical thinking and problem solving activities that can only be gotten through assimilating challenges, learning processes and results throughout your work experiences.

That is where the real alchemy and risk in building a business comes from. It’s a conflation of relationship building, emotional intelligence, and knowledge of what your company can and cannot do while focusing on the targeted results driving the business which affects the ultimate bottom line and your own personal satisfaction.

That’s how you get into a room, but when you are given an opportunity to meet with any  executive, practice skills of emotional intelligence, not emotional blackmail.

Great entrepreneurs can handle pressure in a healthy way, understand and cooperate with others, because they are good listeners, empathetic and are more open to feedback considering that they speak the same language and have faced similar business obstacles. They set the standard and the example for others to follow and are driven to make more thoughtful and thorough business decisions.

Great entrepreneurs and leaders know how to deliver an electrifying message, which  requires them to focus on emotional intelligence – the ability to recognize, practice self awareness, understand and manage one’s own emotions.

Emotional intelligence becomes the driver and best tool necessary to achieve success not only with your customers but also in building your team, while leading a vision and transforming the organization. It is imperative as a leader to set yourself apart and distinguish yourself as a strong character.  Personally,  I firmly believe that there is no better way than managing your emotions and leading by example when you apply a transformational approach across all levels of the organization.  As a motivated  leader with a very high EI you will be able to value, empower, motivate, reward and recognize your team. The key is  to understand and perceive the emotions, needs, and concerns of your team, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and observe the power strategic dynamics in your team and/or organization.

Lets imagine a perfect world where you recognize your own emotions and how they ultimately affect your thoughts, actions and behaviour. Recognize your own SWOT analysis focusing on your strengths and weakness, opportunities and threats. Engagement  of self confidence, and self awareness do become extremely important elements of EI. The key is to exercise self-control of impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take the right initiatives to make the right decisions, follow through on commitments, and most importantly the capacity to adapt quickly to critical changing circumstances that can adversely impact the overall outcome of your strategic goals and objectives.

Great consideration needs to be given with the use of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management as you develop your main skills to build emotional intelligence driven for you to succeed on all fronts in your own private life as well as your professional career.  EI will provide you with the know how and problem solving skills  to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly with a great transformational vision targeted to focus, inspire and influence others, creating a dynamite team, and most importantly manage conflict.

Emotional intelligence drives the key to success and its many requirements when dealing with people and the mechanisms to achieve a transformational business vision and mission. EI is not an art but rather a practice across the board!

Benjamin Von Seeger is an entrepreneur, frequent C-suite member and telecommunications veteran with twenty years of global business experience. His book The RiVal: Play the Game, Own the Hustle, Power in Competition, Longevity in Collaboration (out now) draws on vast personal experience and proven philosophy to inspire a new generation of businesspeople and students. Visit his website BenjaminVonSeeger.com and follow Ben on Twitter @benvonseeger.
  • Posted by Benjamin Von Seeger/
  • Article, Business Relationships